“need to know’s”… I have yet to see one single additional education alternative be presented to ADEQ for any type of onsite training including Transfer Inspection.  I have also not seen any comprehensive work done by any of us including me, to define the training elements that need to be included in any Transfer Inspection Training program recognized by ADEQ. 

You noted in a recent email the phrase… need to know’s …  and wonder if perhaps somewhere possibly in the introduction portion of the workshop the group might via consensus establish who is perceived to be the “strawman” for all “need to know’s” …


Perhaps it is a given the “strawman” is Arizona’s public and if that be the case I posture the tone of many of our OWAC discussions tilt in the direction “turf-building” and/or “turf-protection” … 


Discussing how our words and phrases will be interpreted by Arizona’s public on all topics in the onsite section of rule will I suspect alter appreciably our rule language which will present challenges as well as opportunity …


This assumes, of course, the goal of RULE is to make it clear, concise and understandable to everyone, especially those the rule is intended to hold accountable…


Let’s start with the word …. DISCLOSURE … defined … or to be defined in RULE … I am not an attorney … Black’s Law Dictionary defines disclosure as … “to bring into view by uncovering; to expose; to make known; to lay bare; to revel to knowledge; to free from secrecy or ignorance; to make known” …


If this level of disclose is applied to section A316 … this substantively alters each participants role in the transfer process …  providing we acknowledge this is NOT anywhere near the level of disclosure demanded by current Realtor agreement nor our current ADEQ rule … this definition and corresponding authentic ENFORCEMENT significantly alters the RULE …


So my question becomes … is this the level of definition of disclosure to be applied to all sections of the onsite rule…? 



Lowell appropriately notes … As Mark Twain once observed: “Getting the right word in the right place is a rare achievement.”


I realize I differ to the extent I keep asking myself for whose benefit are any onsite rules developed … for ADEQ … for County Environmental Health personnel … for vendors – engineers – realtors – contractors … and to a degree – yes … I would, however, suggest the underlying intent of any rule is to obtain sustainable “buy-in” from “we” – the people, the homeowner, user, the ultimately responsible party …!


I suggest there was considerable word “tweaking” in 2005 of the rule developed in 2001 and today what is principally proposed is further massaging/tweaking to arrive as Lowell notes with the right word.    


I would like to suggest  giving A316 as it is currently written to a group comprised of homeowners, students, man in the street ,and without prompting, have them tell us what they believe and understand this section to mean…?   Frankly, I believe we will find their responses compelling, alarming, interesting, amusing and vastly different than which OWAC/ADEQ feels is intended.  


Question … how then, if, for example, this one section is NOT clear, concise understandable how can it be legitimately expected a homeowner can or will comply…?   


I suggest that … “getting the right word” … cannot be created in a vacuum, intended or not, when one of the primary players is conspicuously absent and routinely left outside the door and without a seat at the table …


If we actually choose to “get the right words” … we need consider altering the dynamic we utilize to create rule … and moreover we need get crystal clear … and admit … as currently written and routinely administered A316 does not hold anyone’s feet to the fire … save the buyer … and even then with NO follow up no one actually knows if repairs, corrections, modifications were  performed to any system rendering it currently operationally viable … Or, as current sitting  members of a committee defined as Onsite Wastewater Advisory Committee to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality …  we are content to continue to be a part of a dysfunctional dance …?




To:       Ed Swanson … Subcommittee Chairman OWAC A316

             OWAC – Chairman – Jake Garrett

             OWAC – Vice-Chairman – Brian Bishop

             OWAC members

             Interested Parties

Re:       Notes from 1/30/13 – A316 “phone” conference call



First, I want to “thank” the eleven participants who made time to be a part of a quite far ranging discussion … I found it very stimulating.

Second … The unofficial consensus attained to DELETE pumpers from the list of currently authorized septic inspectors is, I feel upon further reflection, a decision in part rooted by our collective unwillingness to authentically funded and put into place a viable training and certification program. 

For the record, I will note again, I estimate at least 80% of cases the very first call any homeowner makes when they have any SEPTIC issue is to the local pumper … it is not to a currently licensed PE … it is not to any government regulator … instead of shunning pumpers the onsite community should be doing everything possible to educate and make then a viable and integral part of the onsite fabric …

There appeared to be strong sentiment to make the BUYER accountable for the SEPTIC inspection … what is amusing is the apparent reluctance on the part of the sector of the Arizona onsite industry on the A316 discussion phone to invite – encourage- engage BUYERS in these discussions … there is no authentic outreach attempt on the part of OWAC – ACDEHSA – AZOWRA – ADEQ to solicit their input in any reasonable form or forum … why is that..?

Is the “turf” upon which we are standing and protecting really that fragile…?

Respectfully submitted,

Paul F Miller